Raising Kids

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8 Ways Your Kid Benefits From Traveling

Traveling with children isn’t for the faint of heart, but a lot of good can come from it.

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Whether you must drive a short distance or fly overseas to reach your destination, traveling benefits children of all ages, according to Polina Umylny, Ph.D., child psychologist and assistant director of the Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration Program at Montefiore Medical Group.

Travel helps build language skills.

“A weeklong vacation to France will not mean that children will be able to pronounce ‘croissant’ like a native Parisian, [however] exposure to more than one language can support language development in the future,” Umylny says.

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Travel builds empathy.

"There's evidence that exposure to more than one language supports children’s empathy, or understanding the feelings and thoughts of others — a critical skill for building social connections and navigating social situations in preschool and beyond."

Travel reinforces what kids learn in school in a real-life setting.

“Geography and weather patterns may be natural subjects to reinforce during family road trips,” as well as whether a place is rural, urban, or suburban, Umylny says.
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Even a short road trip has benefits and can be a great way to experience regional differences.

“This travel can be an opportunity to learn about different traditions, cultures, and even dialects,” Umylny says. Your New Yorker kids may start calling soda “pop.”

Travel helps families connect.

"As a break from what is often the very hectic and separate schedules of parents and children, travel can be an opportunity to slow down and to enjoy new experiences together," Umylny says.
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Travel builds patience.

“There is so much waiting with travel, and walking, and new smells and tastes. Overall, traveling offers many opportunities to practice exercising frustration tolerance,” Umylny says.
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Exposure to and participation in customs and traditions of other cultures both normalizes difference and celebrates the diversity of how children live around the world, builds a capacity for navigating new experiences and understanding ideas, and reduces bias.

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Planning and packing can help develop critical executive functioning skills.

"For young children, figuring out how many shirts to pack for the family’s three-day camping trip or deciding between the sandals and the snow boots gives them practice with problem-solving."

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